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Forum > Bridal and Formalwear Sewing > Wedding dress for daughter ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Wedding dress for daughter
lace princess style
Marie367  Friend of PR
Ohio USA
Member since 5/28/11
Posts: 2774
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Date: 7/15/13 6:25 PM

My daughter is getting married Sept 2014. We went looking for a dress over the weekend. I was surprised at the lack of variety. If you want a strapless bodice with a full skirt and long train, then you will have lots of choices. I could not believe the amount of chiffon and tulle in the skirts. Many were very beautiful. If you want something else, then choices are limited. My daughter wants a princess seam (no waist seam) all over lace dress with a short train. We couldn't find anything to buy (only 4 that came close) so I am going to give it a go. I have never made a wedding dress before but the simplicity of this style should make this easy; at least in theory. She also wants a higher neckline-boatneck or similar and 3/4 lace sleeves. She wants an elegant dress that skims her figure (not tight) and is flowy (is that a word?).
So patterns: I can't find anything exactly-I found Butterick 4415 for the neckline. The overall dress is ok too but I am not sure she will like the skirt-I think it is gorgeous. The sleeves are too puffy on this but that is an easy fix. I also found a Vogue 2964 at the fabric shop I was at today ($.99 too-yea).
It has the right line and the short train. Anyone know of any other pattern? I am thinking if I can get the skirt and train right I should be able to find a princess top with the neckline she wants. She is not sure about the back.
I am also thinking about fabric. We were thinking of keeping the price around $300.00. I found a fabric shop that specializes in bridal fabric. They had silk charmeuse ($35.00 a yard) and silk satin ($30.00) a yard. I think the charmeuse would be what I want under the lace. It was very soft and would drape nicely (so much for the budget). They did not have any lace that I thought she would like. I actually found lace at Hancock's that I think she might like. They had an all over lace that was soft and drapey (surprising to me). I am not sure what to use for a lining. I think I will only need the 3 layers-a lining, a fashion fabric and the lace. Is the Charmeuse what I want for this or should I go with a satin for more body?
My plan is to make a muslin before she goes back to AZ for school in Aug. Should I make it out of a satin or a charmeuse?
The other issue is the back-she wants buttons down the back. The lady at the fabric shop said they sell the loops but she suggested putting in an invisible zip with a little lap and sewing buttons on that. What? I cannot picture an invisible zipper with a lap? Maybe it will make sense later. I do like the idea of just sewing the buttons on and I know her maid of honor will be most appreciative of not having to button all those up (she groaned everytime my daughter tried on a dress with the buttons down the back-lol).
Is that a decent price for the silk? I wasn't planning on silk but I think I like that. It will add significantly to the cost.
Any ideas? Am I missing anything and is it reasonable that I can do this?
I also looked for the Bridal Couture book that is often recommended on here. Gee it is close to $200 new from either Ebay or Amazon. I will try to get it from the libray.
Thanks all

Speech girl
Speech girl  Friend of PR
Georgia USA
Member since 5/11/03
Posts: 2520
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In reply to Marie367 <<

Date: 7/15/13 7:22 PM

How exciting... I hope you can find what you need to make your daughter's dream dress!

Here's a boat neck princess dress with a short train. It's sleeveless, so not exactly what you're looking for
Burda wedding dress

Burda has a couple other princess seamed gowns.

-- Edited on 7/15/13 7:23 PM --

formerly mikkim

Pennsylvania USA
Member since 4/20/05
Posts: 782
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Date: 7/15/13 8:30 PM

I'm also making my daughter's wedding dress. I found lots of formal dresses and gowns on the Neue Mode website. The company no longer produces new patterns, but sells from their old stock, so many of the patterns are beautiful classics if a little behind the times. You may find just what you are looking for. My daughter chose a design from the wedding collection for the gown and a design from the formal collection for the lace overlay. I was disappointed in the options from the Big 4 and I was glad to have found Neue Mode.

I sew, therefore I am.

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jenleeC  Friend of PR
Western Australia Australia
Member since 6/4/11
Posts: 1125
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In reply to Marie367 <<

Date: 7/15/13 9:28 PM

Have you looked at the Marfy patterns? I have not made them myself but most who have comment on the beautiful pattern drafting and fantastic fit. Marfy FS626 looks close to the style you have described. However the $84 price tag for the pattern is a bit scary and doesn't fit well with your budget! I am not sure why the wedding patterns are so much dearer than their normal patterns.

F2837 and F2629 both have nice lines and are more reasonably priced.

Edit to add - I think you may surprise yourself in what you can achieve if you take your time and are careful and methodical in your sewing and fitting. I recently made a ball gown for my daughter and while it was a huge leap and right out of my comfort zone the end results were really pleasing and I enjoyed the process immensely.
-- Edited on 7/15/13 9:35 PM --

Jenny, Perth, WA

Victoria Australia
Member since 7/30/02
Posts: 2800
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Date: 7/15/13 11:34 PM

Lekala has this one and this one - neither is exactly what you want, but they may be worth a try if you can modify the details. It's a bargain price & their sizing is based on measurements you provide.
-- Edited on 7/15/13 11:37 PM --

Mel (Melbourne, Australia)

Member since 10/26/07
Posts: 325
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Date: 7/16/13 0:13 AM

Fabric:I think the price on the silks are are a bargain. If you make the charmeuse it will be soft and the princess seaming may get lost as a style line.This kind of dress [50's onward]usually was stiffer either from the fabric or big petticoats.But if its going to be a big skirt including a train,I think the satin would carry it off better.If you buy nylon lace yardage really check it out against the under fabric for color and appearance .Either fabric can make the other not look good.Before purchasing the yardage examine carefully the full piece for tears and snags.I'd recommend looking at some fine Chantillys[expensive] and see if you can get a close match to how the lace designs are laid out.
Style:It sounds to me that you might not be in agreement on the style of the skirt."FLOWY' is soft,closer to the body and uninterrupted by seaming.Think 30's evening gowns. Princess seaming consists of a front panel,side front,side backs and back which create a structured shape like the classic 50's dress.
Fitting: if you make a muslin you're trying to get the fit of a pattern just right. You can do it in cotton broadcloth or sheeting which will stand up to ripping and pins and re-sewings .Its mostly just the bodice which needs tuning so maybe do just the top to the above the knee
Sewing ; I've done regular zips with lap and sewn on the buttons.The elastic button loops for a true closure often stretch under strain.
I've sewn all my daughters's dresses and the best advise I had was really communicate and understand every detail of what SHE wants. carry

ElaineSweet  Friend of PR
Oregon USA
Member since 10/16/11
Posts: 27
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.

Date: 7/16/13 0:20 AM

I've had experience making several wedding gowns (including my own) and never used a bridal pattern. Any pattern, even a blouse or short dress, can become a bridal pattern, if it the style you want.

If the gown will be totally covered in lace do you need a fashion fabric layer? Perhaps use a taffeta for the lining and skip the other. Then you would sew it as an underlining. Veils are also very easy to make.

andye  Friend of PR
Virginia USA
Member since 5/9/09
Posts: 1930
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Date: 7/16/13 1:03 AM

What? I cannot picture an invisible zipper with a lap? Maybe it will make sense later.

many bridal gowns have a conventional zipper, covered by a decorative flap--held down by snaps or hooks.. Invisible zippers aren't that strong, and a bridal dress might stress the closure a bit more strongly than a more conventional dress.

Bernina B330
Feet: 1,2,3,3A,4,5,7,8,10,13,16,18,20, 29,32,35,37,50,64,70,71,82,85,86, 92

arianamaniacs  Friend of PR
Member since 6/11/04
Posts: 1521
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Date: 7/16/13 5:43 AM

I think the person just mixed up their zipper types. Ive only ever seen lapped zippers with buttons sewn on them.

MaryDB  Friend of PR
Washington USA
Member since 2/9/08
Posts: 650
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Date: 7/16/13 10:24 AM

I made a similar princess-seam lace wedding dress for my dd (with a V-neck top instead of bateau) using the bottom of Butterick 5352 and the top of New Look 6401. My review is here.

I made a muslin for the bottom portion from both patterns, and the New Look is slimmer and more form-fitting with a smaller train, if that's what your daughter would like. Either one is very good for a princess seam wedding dress.

My dd's dress had a silk-cotton blend right under the lace (less shiny than charmeuse). It was underlined with a silk-acetate blend to make it more "flowy" and have it stand up to the alencon lace, which was quite heavy. The dress was lined in silk charmeuse. With all these layers, I would have preferred a layer of gathered net to make it stand out more, but dd refused to have anything remotely "poufy", so I did horsehair braid along the hem and called it good.

There was a line of buttons along the midriff with thread loops over the invisible zip. It works just fine. If you're doing lots of buttons, I would recommend having them made out of your fabric. will make them for 50 cents apiece - well worth it. Susan Kahlje has the bridal loops on her web site also.

If your budget is $300, you're going to go over just by buying silk charmeuse at $35/yard. I recommend shopping around. Lace is expensive.

Good luck, and have fun!

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